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Old 10-18-2010, 09:58 PM
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Default Make your own wick for candles



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How to Make Your Own Wicks for Candles

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of table salt and 4 tablespoons of borax in 1 1/2 cups of warm water.
Soak a 1-foot length of regular cotton kite string or twine in the solution for 15 minutes.
Hang each string with a clothespin for 5 days to be sure it is completely dry.
Use a paperclip to dip each string completely in melted wax 3 to 4 times, coating it completely.
Hang it up to dry as before...
Store wicks rolled up in a newspaper.


TIPS:
Add a teaspoon of one of these chemicals to the *initial soak for
colored flames:

Strontium Chloride for a brilliant red flame,
Boric Acid for a deep red flame,
Calcium for a red-orange flame,
Calcium Chloride for a yellow-orange flame,
Table Salt for a bright yellow flame,
Borax for a yellow-green flame,
Copper Sulfate (blue vitrol/bluestone) for a green flame,
Calcium Chloride for a blue flame,
Potassium Sulphate or Potassium Nitrate (saltpeter) for a violet flame,
Epsom Salts for a white flame.

WARNING:
Add ONLY ONE (1) chemical for color variation.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survive View Post
How to Make Your Own Wicks for Candles

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of table salt and 4 tablespoons of borax in 1 1/2 cups of warm water.
Soak a 1-foot length of regular cotton kite string or twine in the solution for 15 minutes.
Hang each string with a clothespin for 5 days to be sure it is completely dry.
Use a paperclip to dip each string completely in melted wax 3 to 4 times, coating it completely.
Hang it up to dry as before...
Store wicks rolled up in a newspaper.


TIPS:
Add a teaspoon of one of these chemicals to the *initial soak for
colored flames:

Strontium Chloride for a brilliant red flame,
Boric Acid for a deep red flame,
Calcium for a red-orange flame,
Calcium Chloride for a yellow-orange flame,
Table Salt for a bright yellow flame,
Borax for a yellow-green flame,
Copper Sulfate (blue vitrol/bluestone) for a green flame,
Calcium Chloride for a blue flame,
Potassium Sulphate or Potassium Nitrate (saltpeter) for a violet flame,
Epsom Salts for a white flame.

WARNING:
Add ONLY ONE (1) chemical for color variation.
Great thread! what does the salt and borax do for you?
Old 10-18-2010, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by The Saint View Post
Great thread! what does the salt and borax do for you?
Wish I knew. I just picked up this tip in my travels. I have tried to use just plain cotton twine before, but seems to burn up too fast to make an effective wick. So not quite sure how adding these helps, but hey, why argue with someone else's experience!

Up till now I have still had some bought wick to use, but thought it a great "resource" to have for people's files, when the "bought" wicks might not be available.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survive View Post
Wish I knew. I just picked up this tip in my travels. I have tried to use just plain cotton twine before, but seems to burn up to fast to make an effective wick. So not quite sure how adding these helps, but hey, why argue with someone else's experience!

Up till now I have still had some bought wick to use, but thought it a great "resource" to have for people's files, when the "bought" wicks might not be available.
Great thread and again thanks!
Old 10-20-2010, 09:58 AM
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thanks for the ideas... wonder if you can sort of swirl the string in the wax, if you have a few of those candles in the metal tins, to make it (the candle) last longer? you know what I mean, right?
Old 10-20-2010, 11:48 AM
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thanks for the ideas... wonder if you can sort of swirl the string in the wax, if you have a few of those candles in the metal tins, to make it (the candle) last longer? you know what I mean, right?
I think I catch where you are going with your thought. To be honest, I don't have the answer to that question.

To venture a guess, I think that this would be very difficult to do, as you would be trying to keep a curved string stationary till the wax hardened, which would be almost impossible, unless it was the type of wick that has wire in it....?? Personally I think that the wick would get flooded at some point as if the burn hole is going down in a spiral shape, the candle would have to be large enough to accommodate that movement. If the wick is not large enough to burn off all of the wax on the way around the drip from the unburnt edges would most like melt and flood the wick.

I have never seen that idea in any of my candle making books. An easy way to try the idea would be to take a taper and warm it so that the max is malleable and then bend it into the spiral shape. Put this into a larger candle mold and fill around the taper?? Just a thought.

Personally, I don't think that it would be such a good idea, but kudos to you for thinking outside the box!
Old 10-21-2010, 09:58 AM
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I braid 3 pieces of string together for a wick-seems to make less smoke.(Grand kids do the braiding, I do the melting and dipping/pouring). I'll try soaking them in the salt and borax mix after they braid them, next time we make some candles, see how it helps. Just as a w.a.guess, I'd think the soaking removes the binders and chemicals and stuff from the string, letting the wax soak in, so the flame burns the wax, not the wick.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:19 AM
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Plain cotton string never worked for my candle wicks, now I might try this. I thought the string might be too thin so I braided it. It still went out after 1 minute, every time. Also the wicks with no core from the store, didn't work either.

Also, would potassium chloride (fake salt, in the salt aisle of your store) also give a different color?
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saint View Post
Great thread! what does the salt and borax do for you?
The Borax is a flame retardant which helps keep the wick from burning up so quickly. The salt would increase the surface tension of the liquid initially and may have a flame enhancing effect to help keep the wick burning.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:43 PM
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Also, would potassium chloride (fake salt, in the salt aisle of your store) also give a different color?
Couldn't tell you, as I don't know. Perhaps, we had a resident chemist on the boards, who might be savvy in such things?
Old 10-24-2010, 11:23 PM
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Very informative thread-I will have to try making some!
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:17 AM
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Nice! I have been getting relatively good results with just borax, but will try adding the salt and braiding!

Thanks!!
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survive View Post
How to Make Your Own Wicks for Candles

TIPS:
Add a teaspoon of one of these chemicals to the *initial soak for
colored flames:

Strontium Chloride for a brilliant red flame,
Boric Acid for a deep red flame,
Calcium for a red-orange flame,
Calcium Chloride for a yellow-orange flame,
Table Salt for a bright yellow flame,
Borax for a yellow-green flame,
Copper Sulfate (blue vitrol/bluestone) for a green flame,
Calcium Chloride for a blue flame,
Potassium Sulphate or Potassium Nitrate (saltpeter) for a violet flame,
Epsom Salts for a white flame.

WARNING:
Add ONLY ONE (1) chemical for color variation.
We use these chemicals during campfires for scouts. We tear off a good size piece of wax paper, pour about 2 tablespoons into the middle, wrap it up and tie with twine. At different times during the campfire, kids or leaders will toss one of the wax paper wads into the fire. It works pretty well. We usually just use epsom salt, table salt, borax, and calcuim. We have never tried them in a hand dipped candle, but now we will.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:23 AM
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VERY interesting topic! This is why I love this forum! Thanks for the great tip!
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survive View Post
How to Make Your Own Wicks for Candles

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of table salt and 4 tablespoons of borax in 1 1/2 cups of warm water.
Soak a 1-foot length of regular cotton kite string or twine in the solution for 15 minutes.
Hang each string with a clothespin for 5 days to be sure it is completely dry.
Use a paperclip to dip each string completely in melted wax 3 to 4 times, coating it completely.
Hang it up to dry as before...
Store wicks rolled up in a newspaper.


TIPS:
Add a teaspoon of one of these chemicals to the *initial soak for
colored flames:

Strontium Chloride for a brilliant red flame,
Boric Acid for a deep red flame,
Calcium for a red-orange flame,
Calcium Chloride for a yellow-orange flame,
Table Salt for a bright yellow flame,
Borax for a yellow-green flame,
Copper Sulfate (blue vitrol/bluestone) for a green flame,
Calcium Chloride for a blue flame,
Potassium Sulphate or Potassium Nitrate (saltpeter) for a violet flame,
Epsom Salts for a white flame.

WARNING:
Add ONLY ONE (1) chemical for color variation.
What is the reason for the salt and borax treatment? Does it make the wick burn hotter? And can I use wicks from candles I will be melting down? I have bought loads of candles and pieces over the years and want to try making the ones in tuna cans for cooking.
Old 11-20-2010, 03:56 PM
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What is the reason for the salt and borax treatment? Does it make the wick burn hotter? And can I use wicks from candles I will be melting down? I have bought loads of candles and pieces over the years and want to try making the ones in tuna cans for cooking.
If you just burn untreated cotton as a wick, it burns up too fast and snuffs itself out before getting the wax burning. Treating it makes it work better.
Old 01-29-2011, 10:00 PM
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Found a couple more different recipes for making your own candle wicks on this site:
http://www.helium.com/items/433381-h...n-candle-wicks
Old 02-02-2011, 12:39 PM
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If you just burn untreated cotton as a wick, it burns up too fast and snuffs itself out before getting the wax burning. Treating it makes it work better.
Yep. Been there, done that. I try to test some of my ideas before I need them. Making a CANDLE/wax wick out of an untreated cotton sock or t shirt doesn't work. But it might work for an oil lantern if you soak the whole wick in oil before lighting. I know some people on this forum have used untreated cotton material for a candle wick but I could never make it work.
Old 02-05-2011, 12:04 AM
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Just found a site telling how to make wicks for karosene lanterns using: paper bags, gauze, shoelaces, and old T-shirt, yarn etc.
http://www.ehow.com/how_5004463_make...amp-wicks.html

For the paper you would dip the paper into a solution made of water and salt
2 cups water: 1/4 cup salt
or
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) water: 1 Tbsp salt

This solution keeps the paper from charring.

I am wondering if these are the same proportions for candle wicks??
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:33 AM
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When I made and sold hand dipped beeswax candles, I used plain cotton twine. It complimented the pure beeswax perfectly. The candles burned at about one inch per hour and if the air was still, the candle wouldn't drip. After the candle was spent the only thing left was a small stub of wax from the "tail" of the candle.
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